Impact of neoadjuvant chemotherapy on wound complications after breast surgery

Marquita R. Decker, David Y. Greenblatt, Jeff Havlena, Lee G. Wilke, Caprice C. Greenberg, Heather B. Neuman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Background: Use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer is increasing. The objective was to examine risk of postoperative wound complications in patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer. Methods: Patients undergoing breast surgery from 2005 to 2010 were selected from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. Patients were included if preoperative diagnosis suggested malignancy and an axillary procedure was performed. We performed a stepwise multivariable regression analysis of predictors of postoperative wound complications, overall and stratified by type of breast surgery. Our primary variable of interest was receipt of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Results: Of 44,533 patients, 4.5% received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Wound complications were infrequent with or without neoadjuvant chemotherapy (3.4% vs 3.1%; P =.4). Smoking, functional dependence, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and mastectomy were associated with wound complications. No association with neoadjuvant chemotherapy was seen (odds ratio [OR], 1.01; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.78-1.32); however, a trend was observed toward increased complications in neoadjuvant patients undergoing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction (OR, 1.58; 95% CI, 0.98-2.58). Conclusion: Postoperative wound complications after breast surgery are infrequent and not associated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Given the trend toward increased complications in patients undergoing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, however, neoadjuvant chemotherapy should be among the many factors considered when making multidisciplinary treatment decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-388
Number of pages7
JournalSurgery (United States)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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